Associate Investigators

Dr. Sebastian Preissl

Dr. Sebastian Preissl


Dr. Sebastian Preissl

Institute of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg

T +49 761 203 5313

Further Information


Adaptation to developmental and environmental stimuli in multicellular organisms depends on a complex interplay of molecular factors including epigenetic processes to control the transcriptional output of the genome within a cell’s nucleus. A main objective of our research is to build a molecular framework of how external cues are integrated to regulate gene expression and how perturbations of the molecular networks can lead to diseases such as heart failure or atrial fibrillation. To address these questions, we perform single cell epigenomics/multiomics technologies and functional perturbation assays. For our studies we use a combination of clinical samples, mouse models, cell culture and stem cell differentiation models.



cardiovascular, heart, gene regulation, single cell genomics, epigenomics

Our ultimate goal is to identify novel candidates that might serve as targets for personalized treatment strategies of cardiovascular diseases

10 selected publications:

  • A single-cell atlas of chromatin accessibility in the human genome.
    Zhang K, Hocker JD, Miller M, Hou X, Chiou J, Poirion OB, Qiu Y, Li YE, Gaulton KJ, Wang A, Preissl S, Ren B (2021).
    Cell. 184(24):5985-6001.e19.
  • An atlas of gene regulatory elements in adult mouse cerebrum.
    Li YE*, Preissl S*, Hou X, Zhang Z, Zhang K, Qiu Y, Poirion OB, Li B, Chiou J, Liu H, Pinto-Duarte A, Kubo N, Yang X, Fang R, Wang X, Han JY, Lucero J, Yan Y, Miller M, Kuan S, Gorkin D, Gaulton KJ, Shen Y, Nunn M, Mukamel EA, Behrens MM, Ecker JR, Ren B (2021).
    Nature. 598(7879):129-136.
  • Cardiac cell type-specific gene regulatory programs and disease risk association.
    Hocker JD, Poirion OB, Zhu F, Buchanan J, Zhang K, Chiou J, Wang TM, Zhang Q, Hou X, Li YE, Zhang Y, Farah EN, Wang A, McCulloch AD, Gaulton KJ, Ren B, Chi NC†, Preissl S.† (2021).
    Sci Adv. 7(20):eabf1444.
  • Interpreting type 1 diabetes risk with genetics and single-cell epigenomics.
    Chiou J, Geusz RJ, Okino ML, Han JY, Miller M, Melton R, Beebe E, Benaglio P, Huang S, Korgaonkar K, Heller S, Kleger A, Preissl S, Gorkin DU, Sander M, Gaulton KJ (2021).
    Nature. 594(7863):398-402.
  • Reintroduction of the archaic variant of NOVA1 in cortical organoids alters neurodevelopment.
    Trujillo CA, Rice ES, Schaefer NK, Chaim IA, Wheeler EC, Madrigal AA, Buchanan J, Preissl S, Wang A, Negraes PD, Szeto RA, Herai RH, Huseynov A, Ferraz MSA, Borges FS, Kihara AH, Byrne A, Marin M, Vollmers C, Brooks AN, Lautz JD, Semendeferi K, Shapiro B, Yeo GW, Smith SEP, Green RE, Muotri AR (2021).
    Science. 371(6530):eaax2537.
  • Single-cell multiomic profiling of human lungs reveals cell-type-specific and age-dynamic control of SARS-CoV2 host genes.
    Wang A, Chiou J, Poirion OB, Buchanan J, Valdez MJ, Verheyden JM, Hou X, Kudtarkar P, Narendra S, Newsome JM, Guo M, Faddah DA, Zhang K, Young RE, Barr J, Sajti E, Misra R, Huyck H, Rogers L, Poole C, Whitsett JA, Pryhuber G, Xu Y, Gaulton KJ†, Preissl S†, Sun X†; NHLBI LungMap Consortium (2020).
    Elife. 9:e62522
  • Transcriptionally active HERV-H retrotransposons demarcate topologically associating domains in human pluripotent stem cells.
    Zhang Y*, Li T*, Preissl S*, Amaral ML, Grinstein JD, Farah EN, Destici E, Qiu Y, Hu R, Lee AY, Chee S, Ma K, Ye Z, Zhu Q, Huang H, Fang R, Yu L, Izpisua Belmonte JC, Wu J, Evans SM, Chi NC, Ren B (2019).
    Nat Genet. 51(9):1380-1388.
  • Single-nucleus analysis of accessible chromatin in developing mouse forebrain reveals cell-type-specific transcriptional regulation.
    Preissl S*, Fang R*, Huang H, Zhao Y, Raviram R, Gorkin DU, Zhang Y, Sos BC, Afzal V, Dickel DE, Kuan S, Visel A, Pennacchio LA, Zhang K, Ren B (2018).
    Nat Neurosci. 21(3):432-439.
  • Deciphering the Epigenetic Code of Cardiac Myocyte Transcription.
    Preissl S, Schwaderer M, Raulf A, Hesse M, Grüning BA, Köbele C, Backofen R, Fleischmann BK, Hein L, Gilsbach R (2015).
    Circ Res. 117(5):413-23.
  • Dynamic DNA methylation orchestrates cardiomyocyte development, maturation and disease.
    Gilsbach R*, Preissl S*, Grüning BA, Schnick T, Burger L, Benes V, Würch A, Bönisch U, Günther S, Backofen R, Fleischmann BK, Schübeler D, Hein L (2014).
    Nat Commun. 5:5288.

(*contributed equally; † co-corresponding authors)